Monday, April 28, 2014

A Great, Graphic White Whale

Call me Ishmael. One of the most well known stories in all the canonized literature is now in an abridged graphic form that is accessible to any reader. 

The story of Captain Ahab and his nemesis, Moby Dick, the great, white whale, is one we know well, but how many of us have read it? When you think of canonized literature, sometimes you think boring, dry, huge tomes that might be more practical as door stops. Now, if you love literature like I do, you know there is a journey to travel in every book. And the mustier the better! But no matter what you tell your students, they are NOT picking up Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights or A Tale of Two Cities without a grade involved. I am not saying teens must pick their way through the canon to have a true appreciation of reading, but it also makes me sad when they have no familiarity with these stories at all. So why not take something like these Campfire versions, an abridged, graphic version of the story that they can easily read, understand, and digest. While, sure, it isn't the full impact of the story, it is a great snapshot! Then they are familiar with the story and maybe some day, they will remember that graphic adaptation and pick up the real Melville! You know know what kind of seeds a book can plant!

So I really liked this adaptation. The art was OK, not as great as some other graphic novels, obviously, but it was done pretty well. The story itself was abridged well so that you can understand the story with a fast-paced graphic version.  Overall, I would definitely encourage a kid to pick up another Campfire story, and in fact, I think I am going to look into a couple more myself!

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